A year ago, Greg Whittington was still thinking about Oakland Mills High’s loss in the Class 2A South Region boys’ basketball finals.
“I was going to comeback, work hard and try to get my to the state championship,” said Whittington. “I didn’t think I was going to blow up this big.”
A relative unknown outside of Howard County, Whittington became one of the area’s most sought after players. His meteoric rise concluded Friday afternoon with him signing a national letter of intent to play for Georgetown University.
With mother Jana next to him, Whittington finalized his commitment to the Big East Conference power in a brief ceremony in the Oakland Mills’ library. Clemson, Maryland, DePaul and Texas were among his final selections.
“It’s close to home and it’s a great institution,” said Whittington, who gave a verbal commitment March 13. “They have John Thompson [Georgetown coach John Thompson III] who should be a legendary coach, his dad [John Thompson] is a legendary coach.”
A host of major Division I programs came through the doors of the Columbia school to pitch Whittington, a 6-foot-9 forward with guard skills. Last season, Whittington averaged 23.5 points, 11.6 rebounds and 4.4 blocks per game for the Scorpions, whose only loss was in the 2A South Region finals.
Whittington became hot commodity after helping the HCYP Elite U-17 squad to the semifinals of the AAU Junior Nationals in Orlando last July. Before then, Whittington’s most serious suitor was Robert Morris.
“Within hours, my cell phone started ringing,” said Oakland Mills coach Jon Browne, who was on a summer getaway with his family when Whittington’s name started circulating. “I think seven, eight coaches called that first day. It got crazier and crazier.”
Browne said the last several months were a learning experience for him and Whittington. Whittington kept an even-keel approach through the exhausting process.
“I just kept playing through it. It’s just another person in the stands watching me play,” said Whittington about coaches observing him. “I couldn’t let nothing distract me.”
Whittington will get to show his talents Sunday afternoon in the 38th annual Capital Classic at the Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro. He’s the first Baltimore area player to play in the legendary contest since Whittington’s future Georgetown teammate Henry Sims (Mount St. Joseph) and University of Maryland guard Sean Mosley (St. Frances Academy) in 2008.
“Wow, this really just happened,” said Whittington about the last several months. “It’s been a surprise.”